If you get into any kind of car accident or your vehicle is damaged or stolen, one of the first things you’ll do is file a police report. But does submitting that report mean your insurance company will automatically be notified?
The short answer is NO, a police report does not automatically go to insurance companies in the USA. The police report is a public document, and anyone can request a copy, including insurance companies. However, the police do not automatically send copies of police reports to insurance companies.
Insurance companies may request a copy of the police report from you when you file a claim. This is because the police report can contain important information about the accident, such as the date and time of the accident, the location of the accident, the names of the drivers involved, and the police officer’s opinion on who was at fault for the accident.
You are not required to provide your insurance company with a copy of the police report. However, it is generally in your best interest to do so. The police report can help your insurance company to investigate your claim more quickly and efficiently. It can also help to strengthen your case if you are filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
If you do not have a copy of the police report, you can request a copy from the police department that investigated the accident. There may be a small fee associated with obtaining a copy of the police report.
Here’s a deeper look at how police reports and insurance claims are handled.
When you file a police report involving a vehicle, the report itself does not immediately go to your insurance provider. The police keep these reports internally for their own records and any investigative needs.
The only way your insurance company would get the police report is if you provide them a copy as part of your claim submission. Or if they request a copy from the police department to verify details of the incident.
Some people mistakenly believe insurance companies have instant access to these reports. But there is no automatic sharing of information between law enforcement agencies and insurers.
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After any vehicle incident, you’ll first want to file a police report for legal and insurance documentation purposes.
But that’s only the first step. You also need to proactively contact your insurance company directly to submit a claim. This is the only way to get the claims process started and get coverage for damage costs, injuries, etc.
So keep in mind that the police report itself does not trigger an insurance claim. That requires you to follow up with your provider directly and supply necessary details, including a copy of the police report.
One important tip – if the incident is minor and officers say a police report isn’t necessary, ask them to make one anyway. Having an official report from the responding officer can help validate your claim, even if you don’t get a copy right away.
Just because you file a police report does not mean your insurance company is automatically aware of the incident. Be sure to contact your provider directly to submit your claim and provide the report. This gets the ball rolling on getting your vehicle repaired or any liability issues resolved.